Long-range molecular energy transfer mediated by strong coupling to plasmonic topological edge states

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The paper delves into the advanced field of molecular polaritonics, which sits at the intersection of quantum optics, material science, and chemistry. Its primary focus is on exploring the strong coupling phenomena that occur when light interacts intensely with molecular matter. This interaction leads to the formation of hybrid light-matter states known as polaritons, which have unique properties that can be harnessed for various applications, including the manipulation of chemical reactions, modification of material properties, and the development of quantum information technologies.

One of the novel approaches discussed in the paper is the utilization of metallic nanoparticle arrays, which can support plasmonic excitations. These plasmonic structures are capable of confining light to volumes much smaller than the wavelength of light in free space, thereby enhancing the interaction between light and matter. The paper pays special attention to the potential of these arrays to host topological edge states, which are robust against disorder and can support unidirectional energy flow.

The authors propose using these plasmonic arrays with topological edge states to facilitate directional, long-range energy transfer between molecules. This is a significant advancement because traditional mechanisms of energy transfer, such as Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), are typically limited by short interaction ranges and are isotropic in nature. The use of topological edge states could enable more efficient and directed energy transfer processes, potentially opening new pathways for designing light-based technologies at the nanoscale.

To investigate these phenomena, the paper employs a coupled-dipole framework, which allows for the study of both weak and strong coupling regimes. In the weak coupling regime, energy transfer is primarily dictated by the overlap between the emission spectrum of the donor molecules and the absorption spectrum of the acceptor molecules. In the strong coupling regime, the interaction between light and matter leads to the formation of polaritons, which can modify the energy landscape significantly and enable new pathways for energy transfer.

The research findings highlighted in the paper suggest that by leveraging the strong coupling to plasmonic topological edge states, it is possible to enhance and control the directional transfer of energy over long distances between molecules. This could have profound implications for the development of novel photonic devices, sensors, and energy harvesting systems, as well as for the field of molecular electronics,
Connected to paperThis paper is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review

Long-range molecular energy transfer mediated by strong coupling to plasmonic topological edge states


Álvaro Buendía, Jose A. Sánchez-Gil, Vincenzo Giannini, William L. Barnes, Marie S. Rider


Strong coupling between light and molecular matter is currently attracting interest both in chemistry and physics, in the fast-growing field of molecular polaritonics. The large near-field enhancement of the electric field of plasmonic surfaces and their high tunability make arrays of metallic nanoparticles an interesting platform to achieve and control strong coupling. Two dimensional plasmonic arrays with several nanoparticles per unit cell and crystalline symmetries can host topological edge and corner states. Here we explore the coupling of molecular materials to these edge states using a coupled-dipole framework including long-range interactions. We study both the weak and strong coupling regimes and demonstrate that coupling to topological edge states can be employed to enhance highly-directional long-range energy transfer between molecules.

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